for a co-op lover among you, this is a must have

User Rating: 8 | Killing Floor PC
Since 2005 and through some 5 or 6 versions/updates, the free UT mod Killing Floor has been a great mod, clearly deserving a 10/10. But now, being released as its own commercial game running on a heavily modified Unreal engine v.2.5, the question is how the former mod stacks up against the 'big boys'? The short answer is: not bad ... and actually it does very well considering the cost-to-entertainment value ratio. For about $15 (now $20) you get a well defined first person co-op shooter ... get a few of you friends on the same server or on LAN and clear the city from the monster infestation. Sounds like fun, and it is.

Let's cover the negative stuff first:
- STORY: one of the biggest problems is that Killing Floor has no story to speak of. The story does not transpire through the gameplay itself, but is rather supplied by the developer in a few written lines so that there is a possible although remote point of reference to the player's situation. Although the 6 players are supposed to be the government-selected survivors of British military and special police units, throughout the game there is no connection to the government or to the overall bigger picture.
- CHARACTER: since there is no firm story for the player to lock on, your character is a random Joe that is a bit harder to identify with till much later.
- BLUR: excessive blurring upon impact/injury, even minor injury. This effect is generally overused in the gaming industry ... just saying that there are other ways to present the fact that you got hit.
- TALK: annoying small talk. An option to turn it off would be nice.
- BULLET-TIME: the game's bullet-time concept with its random timing and its benefits is really questionable. Instead of making it somewhat easier for a second or two, I frequently find it to be an obstacle to a more effective play (especially in the multiplayer where actually any other player can trigger the bullet-time for all the players)

Now to the positive stuff:
- GRAPHICS/VIDEO: 9/10. Very nice indeed. And nicely optimized too - most people with newer rigs will be able to play this on the highest settings for the singleplayer.
- WEAPONS: 9.5/10. From the sounds, the looks, to the feel, this is one of the best jobs on the weapons. Superb ironsights with no reticule in the hip mode.
- CO-OP: very good implementation. Higher difficulties require the 6 players working as a team ... and a very good team at that.
- SPECIALIZING: nicely implemented progressive combat specialization with *perks*
- VISCERAL EFFECTS: except for the previously mentioned excessive blur, the simulated player reaction to injuries and environmental events are nicely done (e.g., aim and weapon shaking when a screamer-monster is screaming).
- SINGLE PLAYER: tho primarily a 6-player co-op, the developer has provided a rather solid single player implementation that is somewhat less exciting than the 6-player co-op, but it can also outshine the co-op when connectivity problems abound or the multiplayer lag is too excessive.
- DIFFICULTY: game difficulty levels (plus numerous game options) are well done and really there is a huge difference among them.
- LIMITED TPS: a limited 3rd person view enabled in singleplayer (default: F4) which is a neat touch but is usually not very useful when shooting (pretty much it's a guessing game when it comes to shooting in the 3rd person with no reticule or single 3rd person angle).
- SDK: just today the developer released the full SDK for extending the game and its shelf-life via modding. Hopefully many modders will take on this challenge (SDK can be downloaded through your steam account in the *tools* section).

In the end it's hard to properly evaluate this game -- the game suffers from some noticeable weaknesses among which most notable is the disconnect between the weak story and the gameplay. On the other hand, there are many more positive things than negatives, from the excellent co-op gameplay, combat settings, and visual style. For a co-op lover among you, this is a must have. For others it maybe a good choice because the game is price-wise affordable. However, if you don't care about the co-op play nor about surviving attacks by hordes of monsters (not really zombies, but rather a result of scientific experimentation gone wrong), then skip this game altogether. Overall, I like this game; the gameplay is dynamic and exciting, and the SDK could mean that we'll see many more maps. Another thing is that for this game to be successful it must offer a problem-free connectivity to multiplayer servers. The developer seems to be responsive and has already corrected a few things via a patch the next day after the release. Overall score: 7.8/10.